METAIRIE – Saints kicker Wil Lutz has scheduled surgery to repair a central muscle injury and it’s unclear if he’ll be back in time for the regular season.
New Orleans has signed former Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher to replace him, Maher’s agent Derrick Fox told The Associated Press on Monday night.
Lutz announced his procedure with a social media post and Saints coach Sean Payton said the team would need a replacement “at least” for the preseason.
“My training camp will be cut short due to an injury that has gradually worsened,” Lutz wrote. “We decided it was in our best interests to fix this now so that we could run out of time as little as possible. “
Lutz, who has played in every New Orleans game since joining the squad as an undrafted Georgia State rookie in 2016, was the lone kicker on the roster before the Monday practice.
Lutz started training camp on the club’s non-football injury roster before resuming training last week. He didn’t appear to have any difficulties initially, regularly converting goals on the pitch, but left practice on Saturday.
“He started off with basic muscle tension, and then last week he’s improved a bit, so rather than wait, we’re going to go ahead and do it right away,” Payton said. “I have no deadline.”
While New Orleans could potentially sign more than one kicker and have them compete in the preseason, Payton said his preference would be to use only one of the club’s preseason spots on a kicker. .
“I don’t think we’ll necessarily use two seats,” Payton said. “We will have a long term plan and a short term plan.”
The active membership limit for NFL clubs will be 90 players until August 17, when it increases to 85. New Orleans opens preseason play Saturday night in Baltimore.
Lutz has scored 77 of 81 career field goals within 40 yards. He hit 65 of 83 kicks beyond that range. His arrival ended an era of instability at the Saints post under Payton, who suffered 10 different kickers in the 10 seasons leading up to Lutz’s arrival.
Maher kicked off for Dallas in 29 games in 2018 and 2019. He’s never missed an inside kick from 30 yards and is 49 of 66 overall on field goals for his career. , including 10 out of 15 beyond 50 meters.